5 Tips for Finding the Right OB/GYN

choosing_right_doctorFinding the perfect doctor can often be a long process. We all want to make sure that we're seeing a doc that makes us feel comfortable, that the office is clean, ideally you're never feeling rushed in and out the door -- the whole nine yards. Dare I say it, the hardest doctor of all to find? The perfect OB/GYN. Come on -- us ladies don't want just anyone poking around down there, amirite? 

Need help finding your dream doctor? Not to worry -- we have 5 easy tips to finding the right OB/GYN for you:

1. Write down what you're looking for: Do you want a man or a woman? Do you want someone who is an MD and not just a nurse practitioner? Do you want to find a physician that's located near your home or office? And are you looking for someone who is in a group of doctors or practices on their own? Figuring out your answers to all of these questions will help guide you in the right direction.

More from The Stir: Hot Male Gynecologist Has Women Lining Up For Their Annuals

2. Get referrals: The best way to know if a doctor is a good doctor is by asking around for recommendations. No one of your friends is going to lie to you that they absolutely LOVE their OB/GYN if they don't.

3. Do your research: Even if you have a referral, check out what popular sites like ZocDoc or Yelp say about that specific doctor and their practice before heading in for a checkup. Sure maybe the doctor is great, but the office is located in a bad neighborhood or the office staff is rude. These are things you may not get out of your good friend from work when asking for suggestions.

4. Think future: Do you want to stay with an OB/GYN through a potential pregnancy and have her there when you have your baby? Well, newsflash: Not all OB/GYN's deliver babies! If you're looking for someone for the long haul, make sure to ask that question upfront.

5. Seek out a communicator: A lot of OB/GYN offices these days use some sort of online "patient portal," or a way for patients to reach out to the doctors and office staff and get a speedy response. My gynecologist's office recently did this, and it makes communication easy, speedy, and seemingly effortless. You want to make sure that your ideal OB/GYN is accessible, and open to calls and questions (no matter how random they may be).

How did you choose your OB/GYN? Do you refer him or her to friends?

 

Image via Sean Justice/Corbis

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Ravi Chandra

Good article, well laid out the research steps.

Thanks,
Ravi

David Mittman

what's this "not just a nurse practitioner"? Who writes this stuff? NPs (and PAs) provide wonderful care and spend more time with you which in this specialty is exactly what you need. Wy the slight by the "Stir"?

nonmember avatar Marti

Emily - So sorry, but I would stick to cupcakes, 5Ks and the sales rack. You have an antiquated perspective of healthcare that's relegated to those that have grown up with "ER", our in your case perhaps "Grey's Anatomy." I've known thousands of women, family members and health care organizations that prefer Nurse Practitioners (i.e., midwives, woman's heath, family NPs, etc) over the availability of MDs for the myriad of reasons pertaining to what they offer to patient care. Your research should include some more significant issues which shed some insight into their qualifications, say for example their education, research, training, professional membership(s), publications, or even their association with hospitals and medical centers - which may hold a higher and stricter standard of clinical practice regardless of discipline. Websites are superficial and tend to be punitive if nothing more than the ease with which someone can post incongruent or impartial comments at healthcare providers, and this applies to ALL providers. Remember - there are bad professionals in every field our there, including MDs, NPs...and "journalists."

Heather McCoy

"...not just a nurse practitioner"? My dear, I have eight years of university education, including a clinical doctorate from an Ivy-League university and a 2,000-hr residency in my specialty. Just what do you mean by your use of the word 'just'?

Michele Knappe

"..not just a nurse practitioner"? I would hope next time you would do more research on Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwives and educate yourself before you write about them. Take a look into background, education, research, and safety of nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives. There are many women who prefer a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife and are very happy with the care they receive.

nonmember avatar Hannah

While I'm not thrilled with the use of the term "just an NP", I can't really say it's worth jumping down Emily's throat. I got to this page because I work for an OB/Gyn and I wanted to see what was coming up in a Google search for news (how this constitutes as news baffles me, but that's another topic).
The fact is that there are a lot of patients that would rather see our doctor over our NP. Don't get me wrong, she's fantastic and her patients really love her, but I understand when patients will only see our doctor. I see nothing wrong with making the decision of MD (or DO, cough, cough) or NP before they call the office. I think that's all that Emily was trying to say, no disrespect to NP's at all.
I think a better way for anyone looking into an office becoming their new OB/Gyn home should know that if there is any mid-level practitioner working there, they are working under the doctor. This means that the doc has put their trust in this NP or midwife to act as a limb of the body, if that makes sense. If our doctor didn't trust our NP, she would be gone so fast, and patients should find peace in that fact.

While this article isn't written from the perspective of "knowledgeable in all things lady doctors", I feel like that is justified. You would be surprised how many women just don't know the questions to ask, or even what to expect when coming to their OB/Gyn. Nobody knows everything, so give this girl a break.

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